Know Your Coastal Counties- Lamu County


Lamu County is located in the Northern Coast of Kenya and is one of the Six Coastal Counties in Kenya. It borders Kilifi County in the southwest, Garissa County to the north, Republic of Somalia to the northeast and the Indian Ocean to the South. It lies 1° 40’ and 2° 30’south and longitude 40° 15’ and 40° 38’south. The County has a land surface of 6,273.1 km that include the mainland and over 65 islands that form the Lamu Archipelago. The total length of the coastline is 130 km while land water mass area stands at 308 km.

The County has 2 constituencies namely Lamu West and Lamu East. These two also consist of the two districts referred to as the sub-counties in Lamu County. Lamu West has Amu Mkomani, Shela, Hindi, Mkunumbi, Hongwe, Bahari and Witu Divisions while Lamu East has Faza, Basuba and Kiunga divisions. There are 10 wards, 23 locations, and 38 sub-locations in the County


Lamu County in A View..

The main economic activities in the county include crop production, livestock production, fisheries, tourism and mining, most notably quarrying. Among the challenges facing Lamu is population growth owing to migration into Lamu from other parts of the country, fuelled partly by the anticipated opportunities accruing from the Lamu Port South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor. Other challenges include landlessness and poor land management, insufficient social services such as healthcare and education, inadequate supply of piped and fresh water, under-developed infrastructure, and food insecurity.

The county is made of cosmopolitan population composed of indigenous communities made of Swahilis, Arabs, Koreni, Boni and Ormas and migrant communities from the rest of the country. The county population as projected in 2012 stands at 112,252 persons composed of 58,641 males and 53,611 females. The LAPSSET project is expected to attract a huge migrant population estimated to be over one million. This will certainly overstretch the county’s social services necessitating commensurate development planning for adequate service provision.


Below is a break down of the wards as distributed in the two Constituencies in Lamu:


Ward Constituency County Population2009 AreaKm2 VoterTagert Regs Voter%
FAZA LAMU EAST LAMU 13524 91 6305 9698 153.81
KIUNGA LAMU EAST LAMU 4265 520 1988 2990 150.40
BASUBA LAMU EAST LAMU 1052 1709 490 244 49.80
SHELLA LAMU WEST LAMU 3274 55 1526 2305 151.05
MKOMANI LAMU WEST LAMU 19092 274 8901 8370 94.03
HINDI LAMU WEST LAMU 10700 1151 4988 5810 116.48
MKUNUMBI LAMU WEST LAMU 11724 1429 5466 5816 106.40
HONGWE LAMU WEST LAMU 9097 129 4241 3033 71.52
WITU LAMU WEST LAMU 13105 975 6110 7342 120.16
BAHARI LAMU WEST LAMU 15706 171 7322 6222 84.98


Donkey is mostly used within the Island.


Lamu looks like the future of tourism in Coast as it is rich in history and a lot of traditional activities. The Island and its welcoming people make it an ideal Holiday destination.  It has won the Coastal Crown tag as the Island of festivals. It has more than five festivals in a year namely Cultural Festival, Maulid Festival, Yoga Festival, Art Festival, Food Festival and Fishing Competition. In other words, there are a lot of options and places to visit while you’re in Pwani. 🙂

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